With almost 400,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in North Dakota, one question still stands: How long is it effective for?

KX spoke with a Sanford Infectious Disease Specialist who says with things changing all the time, it’s still being studied.

There are many parts that go into developing a vaccine like the location, the time and the specific strain that is circulating.

Dr. Noe Mateo says with developing strains the vaccine may not be as effective but can lower your chances of getting sick.

“It’s going to come up with a mutation, an escape mutant that’s going to be more fit, more capable of causing infections. More easily spread. And it will have an evolutionary and genetic advantage that way. And next to you know it will become the predominant strain within a community,” explained Dr. Mateo.

Mateo says like the flu vaccine there may need to be a system in place in order to conduct surveillance on genetic sequences.